Ask the PT

“Hi Greg,

Thank you for your videos.   One question after viewing – I have seen core rotation machines in exercise gyms.  Are they bad for your lower back?

Thank you very much – Jane”

When we walk into a gym to do our exercises, we assume every machine is safe and will help us achieve a healthy body. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Being active at the gym is part of a healthy lifestyle, but there are certain machines that promote more risk than benefit. Core rotation machines in particular can cause a number of adverse effects on the body.

Reasons why you should stay away from core rotation machines

  • The lower back is designed for stability, not excessive rotation
    • Damage to the spine and pain is common with use
  • These machines barely give you any results
  • For many women, the majority of the machines at the gym are too big and can cause lower back problems

 

You may not realize the damage core rotation machines have on our bodies while we use them to workout, but there is a better way to workout without rotation.

Reasons why anti-rotation is the way to go:

 

  • Decreases the chance of hurting your spine
  • These workouts are designed to give you better results
  • No big machines needed anymore

 

The results from doing anti-rotation workouts are more effective than working out on rotation machines with a much lower risk of injuries. For a great exercise that will improve core stability and is safe for your back, watch our exercise of the week, Pallof Press for Core Stability below.

Here are some more examples of exercises you should try if you want to have a safer workout for your back.

Anti-Rotation workouts:

Point Dumbbell Row

  • Any 1-arm rowing exercise is great to train anti-rotation but the 3-point row in particular absolutely torches your core if done correctly

Standing Cable Anti-Rotation Chop

  • This is another great exercise that trains your body to prevent motion through your spine as you move an object. Since you are standing, it challenges your body’s hip stability as well.

Half Kneeling Push / Pull

  • The purpose of this exercise is less about the pushing and pulling and more about preventing any unwanted motion in your core while you are pushing and pulling.

To learn how to properly complete these workouts please visit the link below.

http://www.builtlean.com/2014/01/13/anti-rotation-exercises/